Book Excerpt -THE LAST KING by A. Yamina Collins


THE LAST KING   by A. Yamina Collins
Fantasy/Romance

Twenty-eight year Emmy Hughes has never quite fit in---she's six feet tall, dark-skinned, and daydreams of being Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. But when she is badly injured in a car accident that kills her mother, Emmy does not dream of fantastical worlds anymore---she just wants her shattered life to be normal again. 

Unfortunately, normalcy is the last thing in store for her once she meets Lake George's newest arrival, Dr. Gilead Knightly. Granted immortality from a line of people whose Great Ancestor marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life, Gilead has been alive for centuries and has met everyone from Nubian kings to Napoleon. 

But Gilead and his eccentric family are also hunted beings because God considers the Edenites' possession of immortality to be theft. And for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a "Glitch" ---an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen "property" of immortality and kill them off. 

When Emmy discovers that she is Gilead's Glitch, she is not only thrown into a world of immortals who eat bone marrow, panthers who read minds, and a family whose blood is made of pulsing gold, but she finds herself the target of Gilead's vengeance: he must get rid of her before she gets rid of him. 

Easier said than done. Because Glitches are not only an Edenite's greatest threat---they're also their greatest love. 



The Last King Book Reviews 

Wow, I couldn't put the book down. Oh my, I love how the author tied two and two together. I don't think I can wait until all the installments. It will drive me crazy. But I love, love, love, love it - Uchenna, Amazon


Last King is amazingly written and flawless in my opinion. 
If you enjoy the world of paranormal, Gods, and also tied with a Romance aspect then these are definitely for you  - GirlyGirl Book Reviews. Goodreads


With each book, the story pulls you in more and more. Curiouser and curiouser! Excited to see the continued development of this story
- Molly Lyons, Goodreads


This series is a must read for those who love fantasy and African-American literature. Yamina has found a new way to tell the story about the interactions between immortals and mortals. I have already recommended this series to several serious readers I know.
- D.D., Amazon


As I was reading, I was filled with such a sense of wonder and anticipation. This book is truly shaping up to be so much more than what you might originally think. I just wanted to stay with the story and explore and find out more about what’s going on and who these people are, but alas – I must wait for Episode 5
- Donna Thompson, Goodreads


From the beginning of the story I knew this one would be different. I don't read Sci-fi, but I gave it a try. I'm so glad I stepped out of the box to read this. The author does a great job of storytelling. Want a new, fresh read, then this is a must
- Kim, Reading Between the Lines Book Club, Amazon


Miss Collins has a way of building the suspense in her story so that it keeps you guessing. Her characters are each well thought out so that they fit into the story like a fine tuned engine
- Robin Barton, Goodreads


I just finished finished The Last King and it left me wanting to see what happens next! When I started reading I thought the story was going in a particular direction and it took a completely different turn. Once you began to understand the characters and their stories, they also become intertwined which answers a lot of questions. Once everything is coming together it ends and you have to wait for the next (episode)! - Stephanie Cosby, Amazon



Book Excerpt - The Last King
This is a scene where Gilead, the protagonist, gets sick for the first time in his life as an Edenite. It's a clear indication to him that a Glitch, the woman who will prove to be the love of his life, is somewhere in the vicinity...

Downstairs, outside of the High Note, the boardwalk is strewn with only a few people, some of whom wander around

looking for a restaurant to sit and relax in, and some of whom stroll about, staring out onto the lake or admiring the moon; two of the strollers are even the ones being admired, if for nothing else than their sheer size.

It is not that people have never seen men of their stature before--after all, basketball courts on television are filled with players of their magnitude---but to see two ordinary men up close like this proves daunting to even the most casual observer.

Yet what is most startling about the two men on the boardwalk is not their height, but rather the congruency of their heights. Each is an almost a replica of the other in size and looks: well built and athletic, wearing sneakers, jeans and a T-shirt; both are even decked out in smart-looking eyeglasses.

Indeed, they could be mistaken for twins, if not for the fact that one of them is as blond as a Ken doll and the other man is black. Aside from this, it is only in observing them that one sees the contrast of their personalities: the blond one laughs and gestures wildly with his hands as he walks, as if he means to break out into a song or dance, while the black man registers no smile at all and seems as stiff as a board.

"What's wrong with a dog?" people overhear the blond one suggesting. "A nice big sort of animal. I vote yes to a dog."

The other man does not answer him.

"Ah, I know what you're thinking," the blond one continues, whispering now so that no one else can hear. "You're thinking Reon will eat it."

"Of course she will."

The blond man laughs. "Well, everyone has to die one way or another"---and now he pauses in front of the High Note, wincing at the off-key singing coming from the open door. "It's as if they're trying not to sing well. Don't you think?"

The black man pauses beside him, but does not respond.

Intrigued, the blond one strides to the door. "Coming in for a minute? It's early. Not even eight o'clock yet. No? Well, I'm going in."

It is a funny night to the man who remains there on the boardwalk. The air here does not feel right against his skin, and he frowns. He has never felt that before: since when does the air make his flesh tingle?

In a moment, he can make out the raucous laughter of his companion coming from inside the restaurant, and he means to walk to the door and tell him that he is going home. But something stops the man; a strange buzz starts to germinate in his head, like the soft hammering of metal at the center of his brain. He creases his brows and makes a sudden choking sound.

"Huh?" he says to himself, startled.

Then he sneezes. Once. Twice. And now a third time.

It can't be, he thinks, trying to remember the last time he had a cough or cold: not since Father sat on the throne.

And then it hits him, like a virulent jolt, this rapid sense of air bubbles rising in his head, like so much pressure in his brain.

His breathing accelerates, heavy and out of control, and a ruthless kick of pain hits him in his chest and stomach. To his shock, he doubles over suddenly, and finds his vision blurring.

The tall man shakes his head to focus, and looks down to see his hands trembling violently of their own volition. It is not just his hands that shake, either. Something deeper inside of him shakes as well---the very sinews and muscles in his body, and even his own heart.

"You all right, mister?" someone asks him, hesitantly.

The black man nods, and the inquisitor follows up his first question with a second one: "You got a cigarette I can borrow, mister?"

The black man can smell the liquor on the other man and brusquely waves him away. Then he tries to straighten up, but falters. Anger crowds his face: all that power in him, all of that strength, and he cannot steady his hands, straighten up, or keep from feeling like he is about to choke.

The very idea of it all is insulting to him, and he curses God. Then he reminds himself that he can't let Markus see him this way, staring about wild-eyed like this, confused and out of breath.

In a moment, Markus steps outside of the High Note, laughing wildly and clapping his hands. "We should do karaoke with Dad," he calls out. "We should---" He pauses, standing over the bent figure before him. "What are you doing, Gilead?"

Gilead hides his trembling hands behind his back and manages to bring himself to his full height. "Just---thinking," he responds. This is all the excuse he can formulate at the moment, for even his tongue aches.

"Since when do you hunch over to think?"

"Since---now."

Markus frowns. "Your heart sounds---"

"It's fine," Gilead insists. He means to smile his assurance, but there is no point in smiling because he never smiles. Indeed, smiling would only stimulate Markus's suspicion, not diminish it.

"Let's go," Gilead instructs, walking forward as coolly as possible, refusing to wince, even as a myriad of thoughts flood his mind, chief among them that it is not possible for him to be sick. It does not and cannot happen.

And as he recalls, the last time he experienced any sort of pain or sickness was on the day he died.


( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, A. Yamina Collins.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.



Download The Last King: Book 1,Volume #4

http://www.amazon.com/Last-King-Book-Yamina-Collins-ebook/dp/B00M9AU9QE
Women's Fiction Books > New Adults > Religion & Spirituality > Science Fiction & Fantasy


Interview with A. Yamina Collins, author of The Last King


The Last King:  Listen to the author reading from book:  

http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/ChSqWGY4/



BPM: Share with us your personal journey into publishing.  Was this a fun time in your life?
I have loved my journey into publishing. I published The Last King via my own company, DeeBooks Publishing, LLC. What's been great about the experience is being involved in overseeing the entire process of production. And I think I've been smart about it. Except for the writing itself, I hired professionals for every stage of the book's birth - from the cover design, to editing, to marketing. I'm so glad authors have this opportunity now. Fourteen years ago, authors would not have been taken seriously if they self-published. That's all changing dramatically these days!


BPM:  
How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
I'd have to say the three biggest influences in my writing life have been God, my mother, and other great authors who I aspire to be like. God gave me the talent, my mother encouraged and nurtured that talent, and fellow others gave me something to reach for.

BPM:  
Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
Wow, great question. I think The Last King speaks to a segment of the population that is often ignored; dark women who are never the sought after heroine, and black men who are rarely viewed as the hero. And, yes, I do think authors are role models, whether they want to be or not. Words are powerful. And what we write has an ability to inspire or discourage people.

BPM:  Could you tell us something about your most recent work?  Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
The Last King is my first novel. It's a fantasy/romance book that also covers the genres of history, religion, African-American literature and science-fiction. It's about a young woman in modern day New York who finally meets the love of her life; problem is, he's an immortal being called an Edenite, and it's his job to kill her. Question is, will he kill her, or fall in love with her? Right now, the book is only available on the kindle, at Amazon.


BPM:  Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?

I have loved creating the main female protagonist, Emmy Hughes. She's six-feet tall, dark-skinned, and not typical of what you'd find in a leading lady. I've had a ball making her a soft, gentle character. She isn't rough around the edges, although she is not a pushover either. I wanted to put her in a world where she is loved by her father, mother and brother. Hers is not a woe is me tale. I think she is the voice of beauty and reason in this book.

Gilead, on the other hand, my male protagonist, is everything you tend not to find in black male characters. He's man in charge, a man who comes from a line of royalty, and he is comfortable in his own skin. And yet he has this tender side I think women will appreciate. I think their not being stereotypical black characters is what makes them so special.


BPM:  
What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
As I began to sort out details of the book's plot, I grew more and more excited. I've always wanted to tell great and unique stories, and I decided to write the book I'd always wanted to see in print. This was my chance to create a beautiful African-American female heroine, and a strong, heroic black male. Why did I decide to write it now? Because it was time, and the idea had germinated long enough in my head.


BPM:  
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Figuring out the inner lives of Gilead and Emmy has been the most enjoyable aspect of this book, but especially Gilead. I also enjoyed studying out African-American history that reaches far beyond just slavery. I've been able to research the peoples of Ethiopia, Egypt, Nubia, Cush, etc. And I'm just getting started. It's been a blast!


BPM:  Where do your book ideas come from? 
I admit, I was inspired by the Twilight books. I love interesting romances. But mostly, I prayed to God for ideas, as I wanted to write a book with a unique story line, unique characters and something that would ultimately glorify God. So this book goes beyond just being a romance. Get ready for some great adventures in this trilogy!

BPM:  
Are your books plot-driven or character-driven?  Why?
Both, as I think plot and character are both necessities. During the slower parts of the book, I tend to focus more on the characters and their thoughts and inner lives. I think the The Last King picks up in places when the plot is the central focus. And it's a complicated plot. Watch out!

BPM:  
Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured if your book?  If so, discuss them
.
Oh, yes. As I said before, dark women who are feminine are definitely an under-represented group in fiction. I have been so tired of reading about black women who are abused, molested, mammies, gold-diggers, unloved, single mothers, etc. I said to myself, I want to create a dark woman who is loved, who has been nurtured by a loving mom and dad, and yes, who gets the guy in the end! I also created a black male who wasn't lazy, thuggish, comic relief, second-fiddle to the white guy, abusive, a rapist, a criminal....none of that. I wanted to have a man who came from a line of historical kings in Africa. And thus, Dr. Gilead Knightly was born!

BPM:  How does your book relate to your present situation, education, spiritual practice or journey?
Ha ha. These are some deep questions. Wow. I guess I am at a point in my life where my eyes have been open to how poorly darker-skinned people are viewed, not only here in America,but around the world. And much of these poor perceptions have to do with the images that are used to portray us. It bothers me a lot. It's been something I have been in deep prayer about to God. I'm not saying God told me to write this book - not at all! But it's how I have chosen to respond to the negativity I see out there. The Last King has been, for me personally, a healing journey of words and images.


BPM:   Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

I am still learning a lot, because I have had to do research write some of these characters. One of my favorite people of history that I learned about was the pharaoh Akenaten, who was Nefertiti's husband. Gilead comes from the line of Akenaten on his mother's side. And on his father's side he comes from the line of Pianky - the Nubian King of Egypt!


BPM:   What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

One of my goals has been to help change the way African-Americans view ourselves in a historical way. We are too often portrayed as slaves and victims, with no connection to grand achievements in this world. I wanted to tell a bit of our history outside of just slavery. And creating these ancient people who live in present day New York, but who lived a long time ago, was a way for me to achieve that goal. I hope I am doing a good job of it.


BPM:   What projects are you working on at the present?
The Last King is a serial and a trilogy, so I am still hard at work on the book. It is published in short episodes.


BPM:   
How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Readers can visit my blog, Yaminatoday.com. On the blog I have created an entire imaginary soundtrack for Gilead and Emmy's love story. Folks can find the songs I chose under my Lit-Video section. I've got everything from Earth, Wind and Fire to the Beach Boys as background music to The Last King, ha ha.

Readers can also look up an interview I did about The Last King on youtube, at this link here. Or, they can go to Amazon, and read one of the written interviews I did with Black pearls magazine for the first episode of The Last King.


To watch A. Yamina Collins's book interview with What's the 411 Entertainment and Sports channel, click here at youtube: 

Website page: Yaminatoday.com




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